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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am using the built in sound card on my mobo. That is probably the problem but before I go buy a real sound card I just wanted to ask. I am just using a stereo to mini adapter cable going from my HTPC straight to my Plasma for sound. I don't want surround sound, just want to use the speakers on my Plasma. If I get a sound card will this make the sound louder when watching a movie? And yes I have the sound all the way up on my PC.
 

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Your plasma is expecting "line level" (-10dBV) audio inputs. Most sound cards (and built-in sound cards) can output those levels when set to 80-100% volume.


Make sure all your mixer settings are maxed before spending money on hardware. (Open the full mixer control [double-click the speaker control in your system tray] and make sure that wave and master volume are both maxed before concluding your on-board sound levels aren't high enough.)


---Jim


PS: Nothing above should be construed to suggest that you're going to get the best movie sound experience with the above methods, but you specifically stated your problem and the above should help with that. (Then again, I've spent "stupid money" on my surround setup, so I can understand the idea to keep it simple-n-cheap.)
 

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In the "I-can't believe-I-did-that" category, make sure nothing is Muted in the PC or display and that the proper sound input on the display is selected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys for the quick replies.


All sound and mixer levels are maxed out. The only thing muted is the line-in.


When watching TV on sound level 20 it is really loud. At the same level when watching a movie throught the HTPC I can barely hear it. I have to turn my Plasma up to 40. Will a real sound card even amplify the sound to solve this problem?
 

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Keep in mind that TV show dialogue is usually much louder than DVD movie dialogue.


If your motherboard has 6-channel out, there is another problem you might be having. Most movie dialogue is on the center channel, with a little coming through quietly on the L/R mains. Since you wouldn't have the center channel connected, the dialogue will be very quiet, but the soundtrack and ambient noise in the movie will not. If this is the case with your motherboard, make sure you have everything set up for 2-channel output only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
EricN I do believe you hit the nail on the head. The sound card on the mobo says it does 5.1 surround sound. I do notice that the action scenes are really loud while the voice stuff is low. How do I setup the built in sound card to only do 2 channel sound? Where would the settings for that be?
 

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Tell it you only have two speakers. (That config will vary by sound card, but shouldn't be too hard to find.)


For my Revo, it's in the Revo control panel, which is a distinct control panel from the mixer control.


Another thing to try is to see if the center channel is in fact carrying most of the dialog (indicating your mobo is outputing 5.1 analog). Move your mini plug to the port that has the center channel and see if that's giving you the dialog output you expect. If so, persist with the config changes until you get only stereo (or Dolby Pro Logic) output.


--Jim
 

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One more thing to try...if you have a DVD that is only stereo sound, see if the dialogue is louder on that. If it is, I'd wager money the problem is the missing center channel.
 

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Also, think about it this way. Do you listen to cds on your pc, but outputting the sound through your plasma's speakers? My guess is probably not, but that is what you intend to do with DVDs. So you can see teh limitations of using speakers built-in to a tv.
 
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